Review: The Last Door: Season 2 – Collector’s Edition

I’ve been playing a lot of sequels lately, and the most recent one has been The Last Door: Season 2 – Collector’s Edition (which I’ll refer to as TLD2 from now on). I really enjoyed the first season of the game, and reviewed it when it came out two years ago. There will be spoilers for the first game in this review, so if you plan to play it, please come back later! TLD2 began its Steam life on Early Access, but I’m reviewing the final edition. Season two was crowdfunded, but not through Kickstarter as the first one was. I replayed the first game before playing and reviewing this so the story would be fresh in my mind.

Watch the trailer:

Plot

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“Delve further into the madness of the Veil as Dr. John Wakefield, psychiatrist to Season 1’s protagonist Jeremiah Devitt. Setting out in search of his client who has mysteriously vanished, Wakefield is soon drawn into the haunting web of forbidden knowledge, madness, and a much deeper conspiracy hiding it all than he ever could have imagined. As his search takes him beyond England, will he find his missing client? Or will he merely find that he, too, is about to become lost in the search for the Last Door?”

TLD2 once again consists of four episodes. These all average about an hour in length, and each contains a previously on section. We pick up right where the first game left off, but we’re in control of Dr. Wakefield instead of Devitt. I wasn’t expecting this, but it was a nice way to shake things up a bit and create suspense. As in the first game, there is an overwhelming sense of dread throughout the game, even when nothing particularly scary is happening.

Unfortunately, the closing act was extremely unsatisfying – the first game leaves you with a whole bunch of questions, and since you don’t follow Devitt, Wakefield’s journey gives you even more questions. The conclusion is ambiguous, and a lot of what I wanted to know isn’t answered. There are vague suggestions, and I could give you a guess, but I really wanted some more concrete thoughts at the end. There are two different endings depending on a choice you make, but when you’re making that choice, it’s frustrating because you don’t quite know what the consequences will be AND you’re timed. Chapter four also seems to rely on jump scares more than the rest of the season, and even the first game.

There’s one vignette included in the extras menu that takes place between the first and second seasons called The Mask with No Eyes. This doesn’t really clear anything up.

Graphics and Sound

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The graphics are called “lowest-res ever” in the game’s setup menu. I really like the style; you’re still able to tell what everything is, and I never had an issue finding things to pick up. It also adds to the creepy atmosphere, because you have to use your imagination just a bit more, and everyone’s lack of face is also an unsettling side effect. The lighting effects are quite excellent, and in the vignette includes some really cool fire animations. Carlos Viola’s soundtrack is very intense and creates an ominous feeling throughout. The sound design is excellent, and in a game where the graphics are such low-resolution, that really makes a difference. There is no voice acting.

There are extremely detailed closed-captions, which not only caption voices but also musical and sound cues. There’s also a dyslexia-friendly font. There is some flashing in the game that may affect those with photosensitivity.

Gameplay

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TLD2 can be played entirely with the left mouse button; you examine items first, then pick them up if necessary. A map is included this time around, which I thought was a very nice addition. It’s not included in the fourth chapter of the game, but that makes complete sense because of the events that transpire there. I had to use a walkthrough for puzzles quite a few times, especially towards the end of the game, and for a few puzzles I’m still not sure how I was supposed to get to the solution on my own. The main issue I had was the inclusion of not one but TWO maze puzzles. I detest mazes, and it’s extremely frustrating for me to have to solve even one, let alone two. Luckily, I had a walkthrough with a map, but if I hadn’t been able to check that, I probably would have quit in frustration.

There are sixteen achievements, six trading cards, and the game took me 5.1 hours to complete.

Final Thoughts

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The Last Door Season 2 continues the wonderful creepy, unsettling atmosphere of the first game, but the unsatisfying final act along with two mazes left me feeling lukewarm.

Score: C+

Check out the official websites of The Last Door, The Game Kitchen, and Phoenix Online Studios. The game is available on Steam, GOG, and the official sites for $9.99. Like the game on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

[Disclaimer: A review code was provided for me to review this game.]

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